Radi(c)al Departures: Comparing Conventional Octolinear Versus Concentric Circles Schematic Maps for the Berlin U-Bahn/S-Bahn Networks Using Objective and Subjective Measures of Effectiveness

Journal article


Roberts, MJ, Newton, EJ and Canals, M (2016). Radi(c)al Departures: Comparing Conventional Octolinear Versus Concentric Circles Schematic Maps for the Berlin U-Bahn/S-Bahn Networks Using Objective and Subjective Measures of Effectiveness. Information Design Journal. 22 (2), pp. 92-115. https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.22.2.04rob
AuthorsRoberts, MJ, Newton, EJ and Canals, M
Abstract

An experiment is reported in which two designs of Berlin U-/S-Bahn network maps were
compared for usability. One was conventional, based on standard schematic design rules used
worldwide: Straight lines with tightly radiused corners, and only horizontal, vertical, or 45º
diagonal angles permitted. The other was a novel concept, based on concentric circles and
spokes radiating from a central point. The former has the benefit of simple line trajectories,
the latter potentially has the benefit of a coherent overall appearance. The experiment
investigated both an objective performance measure (time required to plan complex journeys)
and a variety of subjective measures (choice between maps, ratings of statements associated
with usability, direct ratings of usability). All subjects planned journeys using both designs.
Overall, performance was worse for the concentric circles map, and it received poor ratings.
However, in line with previous research, objective and subjective measures were dissociated.
For example, many subjects expressed a preference for the design that was not the best for
them in terms of objective performance.

© John Benjamins Publishing Company 2016. This article is under copyright and the publisher should be contacted for permission to re-use or reprint the material in any form.

Year2016
JournalInformation Design Journal
Journal citation22 (2), pp. 92-115
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
ISSN1876-486X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.22.2.04rob
Publication dates
Print31 Oct 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Jul 2016
Accepted14 Apr 2016
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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